View of Observation Peak from Slanghoek Pile (courtesy of Sven Musica)
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title
- Distance 14.11 km
- Time 3 h 31 min
- Speed 4.0 km/h
- Min altitude 554 m
- Peak 1288 m
- Climb 912 m
- Descent 0 m
One of the great things about being a member of the MCSA is the opportunity to explore new hikes in areas that I would be unlikely to visit otherwise. This was the case for my hike up Observation Peak from Bains Kloof Pass.
The start of the hike follows the Bobbejaans River Valley, staying on the right hand shoulder. After about 4 km we took a right fork off from the main trail (which heads up to the base of a waterfall) to climb up to the plateau at top of the waterfall. The path is reasonably clear and marked by cairns but in places care needs to be taken to keep on it.
Lovely river at the top where we rested and had our first tea break. From here we headed off trail to climb Observation Peak which is a lovely cone shaped mountain, and much easier than many others in the area to bag! There is an added bonus that for not much more effort one can also hike up the 2nd summit, which we did.
The hike up to the peak was really charming. We followed a faint trail up to a saddle which had lovely views of the Bree River Valley as well as our 2 peaks. From there it was straight up the side of the cone, one section through a dense stand of protea bushes. On emerging we had the wonderful sight of extensive queen proteas in full flower (Protea magnificent). Totally unexpected to me and I loved walking through them to get to the summit, admiring the different shades and status of flowering.
Stunning 360 views despite the clouds which did not clear until we were back down at the river. We retraced our steps to get back down and had lunch at the river above the waterfall where I had time to cool my feet down with a quick paddle. Second paddle at the river by the trail head and another snack before heading home to share my experience with Mike.
Lovely day and just made me want to come back and explore more of this area with Mike when he is back to full fitness. Some of the photos in the compilation below are from a different hike by Sven Musica, I have included them as they showcase the area really beautifully.